Here is an inside perspective of what you can do in and around the Flint area in Michigan if you are visiting or passing by.
1. ForMar Nature Preserve
2142 N Genesee Rd, Burton, MI 48509
Whether you’re a nature lover, looking to get some exercise, or want to take your kids on an educational outing, For-Mar is a great option. This picturesque 383-acre Preserve and Arboretum is focused on protecting wildlife and nurturing the environment. The expansive 116-acre Arboretum contains over 1800 woody specimens representing 157 species, many of which are labeled. There are wetlands, fields, and forests to explore as well as a Visitor’s Center where you can have a hands-on experience with live animals and learn how flora and fauna coexist in a healthy ecosystem.
This is a pet-free and smoke-free facility that has modern indoor bathrooms and outdoor Port-A-Potty bathrooms. The Visitor’s Center is open from 8am-5pm 7 days a week. There are accessibility features such as: handicap parking spaces. Paved pathways from parking to the Visitor’s Center to the Ground Water Pond, to the Pavilion. There are also barrier-free treehouse and accessible bathrooms inside the Visitor’s Center during Visitor’s Center hours.
2. Flint Institute of Arts
1120 E Kearsley St, Flint, MI 48503
If you are a Genesee County resident, you receive free museum admission every day. If you are a non-resident, you can go at no cost during the Free Saturdays sponsored by Huntington. The FIA is the second largest art museum in Michigan and the fifth largest museum art school in the country. It is worth visiting multiple times a year as different travelling exhibits go on display and there are always new programs and lectures.
If you wish, you can access the FIA’s audio tour collection from their website. It features a detailed map of the museum with points of interest marked with clickable audio files. This way you can experience a virtually guided tour in person, or from the comfort of your own home.
Saturdays and Sundays there are also free glassblowing demonstrations that can be viewed in the Art School’s interior courtyard from stadium-style seating. Guest glassblowers will demonstrate the various processes of their craft.
The museum is open from 10a-5p Monday through Saturday and 1p-5p on Sunday.
3. Stepping Stone Falls & Picnic Area
5161 Branch Road Flint, MI 48506
If you’re looking for a scenic spot for an alcohol-free picnic, the architecturally designed waterfalls at Stepping Stone Falls provide a great view while you enjoy your lunch. There’s a place where the Flint River becomes Mott Lake. Where the ducks swim and the fishing is good. It’s Stepping Stone Falls, one of the most scenic locations in Mid-Michigan. Make your way to the Flint River Bike Path, try your luck with the bluegill and bass. On summer nights, change your view and enjoy the trails, stargaze and watch as multicolored lights illuminate the falls. However you like to unwind, Stepping Stone Falls is the perfect place to do it.
Located throughout the park are picnic tables for your picnicking enjoyment. There is no fishing allowed on the shore of the picnic areas north of the falls. If you enjoy walking, running or biking, you can access the Flint River Bike path from the corner of Carpenter and Bray where a footbridge takes you to Stepping Stone Falls. Or you can choose to ride the trails through Stepping Stone Falls to Bluebell Beach or Bluegill Boat Launch. Both options are part of both the Flint River Trail and Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail system.
4. The Flint Public Library
1026 E Kearsley St, Flint, MI 48503
Renovated in 2022, this library offers more than just books. Visit their website to check out available programming, much of which is free. Everything from Teen Movie Nights, to Mahjong Meet-Ups. Creative Writing Workshops to Movie Screenings.
Of course, books are the main focus. The FPL maintains a Children’s Section of over 50,000 volumes, as well as other special collections that focus on topics such as Michigan and cultural diversity. Getting a library card is free, and who doesn’t enjoy a good book and cup of coffee or tea on a snowy winter’s day?
5. Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E Kearsley St, Flint, MI 48503
Currently closed for renovations, but reopening on July 16th with four all-new interactive galleries, the Sloan Museum of Discovery is free to Genesee County Residents.
The Hagerman Street Early Childhood Gallery inside the museum is geared toward Pre-Kindergarten children with an interactive child-sized neighborhood featuring roundabouts for tricycles, shops, and a charming three-story tree house.
The 11,000 square foot Vehicle Gallery presents rotating exhibits about the history and future of the automobile. This exhibit was formerly at the Buick Gallery, and is now within the museum itself. The Flint history galleries present inclusive stories designed with the flexibility to frequently change displays that span from the earliest inhabitants through history-in-the-making. The Discovery Hall Science Gallery will engage visitors in earth and physical science exploration, featuring the multi-story Spaceship Earth exhibit, a Maker Space, the giant interactive Great Lakes water table, Earth Globe, and much more!
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